Westminster Health Forum

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Next steps for long COVID care and research in England

Morning, Tuesday, 21st May 2024


This conference will discuss next steps for long COVID care and research in England.


Taking place following long COVID services transitioning from the national programme to ICBs in March 2023, delegates will discuss priorities for developing effective long COVID commissioning, services and care pathways, as well as options for earlier diagnosis, population health approaches and tackling health inequalities.


It will be an opportunity to examine progress made on The NHS plan for improving long COVID services, including next steps for assessment clinics, clinical education, rehabilitation, and improving access to innovative treatments.


The agenda will bring out latest thinking on characteristics and risk factors associated with long COVID, and developing the role of patient experience in informing decision-making processes.


Sessions will also assess progress in long COVID research following investment in recent years, looking at priorities for building the evidence-base, and for advancing research and development of long COVID treatments, including next steps for the use of data and AI.


Further areas for discussion include addressing challenges with clinical trials and options for improving participant recruitment.


We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Professor Paul Elliott, Chair, Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine, Imperial College London; and Dr Melissa Heightman, Clinical Lead for Post-COVID Services, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; and National Specialty Advisor, Long COVID Programme, NHS England.Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Latest developments: assessing trends, key issues and progress - priorities from the long COVID plan - the role and impact of assessment clinics
  • Care pathway for long COVID: the role of integrated care systems in commissioning and oversight of post-COVID services - utilising population health approaches
  • Earlier diagnosis: evaluating access to services - tackling health inequalities - clinician education - improving service referral
  • Living with long COVID: access to psychological therapies - self-management plans and peer support - rehabilitation and its impact on employment
  • Clinical research: developing understanding of long COVID symptoms - addressing challenges in clinical trials - improving participation - building the evidence-base
  • Data studies: understanding the prevalence of long COVID - use of big data studies to identify vulnerable populations - identifying and addressing health inequalities - the role of AI
  • Innovative treatments: improving patient outcomes - prediction and prevention - applying latest developments in research - opportunities for advancing treatment development - potential for repurposing drugs approved for other conditions

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from DHSC; MHRA; UKHSA; DWP; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.



Keynote Speaker

Dr Melissa Heightman

Clinical Lead, Post-COVID Services, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust; and National Specialty Advisor, Long COVID Programme, NHS England

Keynote Speakers

Dr Melissa Heightman

Clinical Lead, Post-COVID Services, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust; and National Specialty Advisor, Long COVID Programme, NHS England

Professor Paul Elliott

Chair, Epidemiology and Public Heath Medicine, Imperial College London

Chair

Wendy Chamberlain MP

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Work and Pensions

Speakers

Dr Davina Deniszczyc

Charity and Medical Director, Responsible Officer, Nuffield Health

Carina Knight

Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham

GP Principal, The Chorlton Family Practice, Manchester; and Professor of General Practice Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Keele University

Dr Terry Segal

Consultant Adolescent Paediatrician and Co-Lead, Pan London CYP Post-COVID Service, University College London Hospitals

Sammie McFarland

Founder, Long COVID Kids

Melissa Sundrum

Clinical Lead for Long COVID and Pulmonary Rehab Services, East London Foundation Trust

Dr Emma Wall

Consultant Acute Medicine and Infectious Diseases, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; and Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Francis Crick Institute

Ruth Barlow

Long COVID Team Lead, Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System

Natalie Rogers

Trustee, Long COVID Support

Russell Watkins

Commercial Director, Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria

Dr Betty Raman

Principal Investigator, Radcliffe Department of Medicine, University of Oxford